Pradaxa is a new and highly advertised drug for use as a blood thinner. Emergency room doctors have begun expressing concern because traumatically injured patients may bleed to death because there is no antidote to the anti-coagulation caused by Pradaxa. The Emergency room doctors have reported numbers of cases in which they have been unable to stop the bleeding of injured patients.
Pradaxa is promoted as a better alternative than Warfarin or aspirin therapy for anti-coagulation therapy. It is typically prescribed to people at risk for bold clots such as people with atrial fibrillation or stroke risk. The proposed advantages of Pradaxa over Warfarin are that regular blood sampling is not required and there are no dietary restrictions.
However, there are three significant problems with Pradaxa. First, there is no way for doctors to measure the degree of anticoagulation caused by Pradaxa. Second, there is no anti-dote to the blood thinning effect of Pradaxa. And third, life threatening bleeding can occur after an accident and doctors may not be able to stop the bleeding.
Injured and bleeding Wayfarin patients can be treated in the emergency room with Vitamin K, plasma, and factor VIIa to reduce the anti-clotting effect of that drug. Warfarin reversal can also be tested to assess the anti-clotting effect. Those antidotes for uncontrolled bleeding don’t work for Pradaxa. Perhaps, the only option for a Pradaxa bleeding trauma patient is rapid dialysis which is problematic with an unstable trauma patient and not possible in many emergency rooms.
Boehringer-Ingelheim Company, the manufacturer of Pradaxa, has reported hundreds of deaths from bleeding related complications such as intracranial hemorrhage and internal bleeding.
Pradaxa Users Should Get Medical and Legal Opinions
Pradaxa is the trade name used by Boehringer for the generic drug Dabigatran . Wayfarin is sold under trade names Coumadin, Jantoven, and Marfarin.
Pradaxa users should not discontinue this medication without consulting with their doctors. Pradaxa users who experience serious side effects or family members of Pradaxa users who have died from bleeding complications should call for a free legal opinion about whether they may be entitled to compensation for exposure to the dangers of Pradaxa.